Iran Could Flight-Test Ballistic Missile by 2015, Says Pentagon

Mike O'Brien

A Pentagon report released on Thursday (April 25) says Iran may be able to flight-test a ballistic missile capable of striking the United States by 2015.

With the help of countries such as like North Korea, China or Russia, the Tehran regime could be capable of developing and testing ICBM-class missiles based with liquid propellants.

An unclassified portion of the Pentagon’s "Annual Report on Military Power of Iran" also states that Iran is moving forward in its continuing to develop both the "technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons" and "ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons."

Related: Countdown in South-East Asia as North Korea Loads Missiles onto Launchers

The report contradicts assessments made in 2012 that doubted Iran’s ability to be so advanced in 2015. The earlier skepticism was in part fueled by Tehran’s setback in 2011 when 21 people were killed in an explosion during a test, including Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam, the man in charge of Iran’s missile program.

According to the new report, which was actually dated January 2013, Iran "continues to develop technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons" and is "proceeding with uranium enrichment and heavy-water nuclear reactor activities in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions."

It adds that Iran "also continues to develop ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons." The report concludes that, despite "increased pressure resulting from sanctions" imposed by the United Nations, there "has been no change to Iran’s national security and military strategies over the last year," reports.

North Korea and Tehran have been working together and sharing ballistic missile and nuclear weapon technologies for several years, with both countries aiming to match the two technologies to be able to fire nuclear weapons.

The director of U.S. national intelligence James Clapper last month told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that "we do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons." He said the 17 federal intelligence agencies "judge Iran would likely choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon, if one is ever fielded."

He added: "In addition, Iran has demonstrated an ability to launch small satellites, and we grow increasingly concerned that these technical steps — along with a regime hostile toward the United States and our allies — provide Tehran with the means and motivation to develop larger space-launch vehicles and longer-range missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile."

Share your thoughts. Leave a comment below.